› 10 Lifestyle Changes to Help You Academically! Part 2
10 Lifestyle Changes to Help You Academically! Part 2
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - January 24th, 2020
Today we’re bringing the second part of how these 10 lifestyle changes will help your children academically!
In last week’s post we delved into the variety of ways in which your child’s lifestyle changes had the potential to influence their social, emotional and academic lives. The changes we discussed were unique in that they were not large scale modifications. Instead, they were tangible, realistic, and stood as something that both you and your child could implement together! In today’s post, we will be continuing this discussion as we will be exploring five more ways in which your child can positively influence their physical, emotional, and cognitive well being. This post has the potential to serve as a great conversation starter, in inspiring your child to make small yet powerful changes in their personal life.
10 Lifestyle Changes to Help You Academically-Part 2
(Part 1 Here)
6.) Make Time to See Some Friends
I decided to kick off our list with this point, mainly because of how important it can be for your child to both maintain and build friendships outside of an academic contexts. As parents, many of us are acutely aware of how busy the week can get. As a result, building in time for your child to see friend(s) outside of school can appear far-fetched or unrealistic. Allowing your child to spend some quality time with someone special to them outside of school can be crucial for their own mental health, as well as their ability to feel as if they are part of a community outside of the family structure. When your child feels confident or fulfilled in their social relationships, there is a greater potential that these influences will translate to their school work. Feeling of positivity and confidence in other domains (besides school), is a significant incentive when it comes to levels of performance.
If your child is struggling to make friends, try and support them to the best of their abilities. Help them to become involved in a community of people, either through extracurriculars, school clubs, or through their academic class. Making friends is no easy task and takes time for many. When your child knows that you are there for them, they will more likely confide in you about such topics. Maintaining open minded, present, and willing to help are all key ingredients for approaching a complex topic that we all know as friendships.
7.) Keep a Journal
Encouraging your child to maintain a journal serves as an incredible resource when it comes to personalized self-reflection. Give your child the power to pick out their own journal. There are a variety of fun colors, prints and sizes that your child can pick from. They can even be creative with the process by designing the cover of the book themselves. Personalization is key. A journal can provide a safe and consistent means by which children can express the events that occurred during their day, reflect in on their feelings, and express sentiments that cannot always be communicated through words. Writing will give them a strong voice that they can explore without feelings of judgement or peer pressure. Not to mention, this process allows them to practice their writing abilities and creative voice, which can reap many benefits when it comes to their academic lives. Most importantly, journaling can be a meditative experience that helps students to alleviate the stress that they are experiencing in their own lives. When they have a creative outlet, they will hopefully be able to better reflect in on the feelings that they experience, both in and outside of school.
8.) Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
The next point we are going to explore is the idea of stepping outside of your comfort zone, or trying something you do not normally do! This can be as simple as breaking your routine, or taking a bit of a risk! For many children, consistency and routine feel reassuring and predictable. While we all love what is familiar, it is healthy to demonstrate to ourselves that we have mobility when it comes to exploring other areas. Below are several examples of small yet powerful risks that your child can take within their own lives:
- Exploring different genres of books that you do not typically gravitate to
- Trying a new dish or food
- Making a new friend, or talking to someone you do not typically interact with
- Attempting to be confident in a subject area that you do not always feel confident in
- Creating time for yourself
While these are just a few examples of ways that your child can explore risk taking, they can be solid means of inspiration for self-discovery and personal understanding. Not to mention, it is always fun to explore unfamiliar territory!
9.) Let’s Get Organized
As adults, many of us know that being organized is no easy feat. Still, we all have a distinct understanding of how good it is to feel as if our life, our belongings, and our thoughts are all in their rightful order. Encouraging your child to be organized may not only reap benefits for your own life, but will help your child to feel more in control of their own flourishing world. Developing systems is at the core of what it means to be organized. For example, implementing dividers into each of your binders is a great way to divide an individual class into different segments. This may include notes, graded assignments, homework, or returned tests. Additionally, keeping a planner and or organizer is a fantastic way of staying up to date on day to day assignments, while also helping you to plan ahead for the future. When items are written down, it absolutely helps one to alleviate the stress of trying to remember every single detail of every single day! Sometimes making one small change and observing its associated benefits will help to inspire you take another step in a positive direction.
10.) Sharpening the Mind Through Puzzle Play!
The last point we will be discussing are the fantastic cognitive benefits that come from a task we all know well: puzzles. What if I were to tell you that puzzles are not only a fun leisurely activity, but something that can improve overall cognitive functioning. This activity can be something fantastic to participate in with friends, family or even independently. As many of us know, puzzles can be tricky as they require us to hold detailed bits of information in our head, so that we can have an understanding of the bigger picture. When children are playing such games, they are working to problem solve, think critically, and experiment with trial and error. Through puzzles, children are being encouraged to maintain momentum, as they are required to adapt to new perspectives, adopt new theories, and maintain cognitive, as they learn to stay with a task even when it becomes difficult. Such skills, such as consistency and the ability to find what works best for their own style of learning, are two critical abilities in both academics, as well as life.
Additionally, puzzles have the ability to reinforce visual-spatial reasoning. Your child is challenged to explore how smaller pieces should be positioned in order to construct a large scale visual. Children will investigate the size, shape, color, and configuration of each piece. They also will explore ideas such as intentionality, where they work to understand the reason and purpose behind where each piece goes. Most importantly, they will have the ability to rely on their own brain, and or collaborate with others in order to produce an exciting final product!
I hope that from this post you and your child were able to gain further inspiration when it comes to making meaningful lifestyle changes. Do not be afraid to take the reins and invent your own modifications that works for you. Wishing everyone all the best in the upcoming year!
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